Kuala Lumpur Famous Landmarks
What to See in Kuala Lumpur
A rapidly developing city in Southeast Asia, famous landmarks in Kuala Lumpur consist of urban high-rises with cutting edge, futuristic designs, rubbing shoulders with picturesque fairytale-like structures that have stood the test of time. Featuring Moorish, Malay and Victorian-style edifices, popular landmarks such as The Sultan Abdul Samad Building at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, and Merdeka Square are well-patronised by international travellers and photography enthusiasts due to their intricate style and architecture.
Kuala Lumpur’s famous landmarks also consist of world famous, glamour projects – from the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, to the second-tallest freestanding tower in the world, the Menara KL Tower. Meanwhile, other tourist destinations with striking designs in Kuala Lumpur, such as the National Museum, the Istana Negara, National Visual Arts Gallery, the National Monument, and Kuala Lumpur City Gallery are also well-worth a visit, and most are easily accessible via taxi.
More Architectural Landmarks in Kuala Lumpur
Dayabumi Complex is a 35-storey building set along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, south of Merdeka Square. Built in the 1970s, it was the first modern building in KL to incorporate principles of Islamic design into its architecture. A major landmark in KL it was one of the city’s earliest skyscrapers. Read More...
- Location: Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
Istana Negara is Malaysia’s National Palace. Built in 1928, it is located along Jalan Istana and the 13-acre castle used to be the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia. In June 2011, it was replaced by a new, extravagant RM800 million palace near Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur. The old Istana Negara is situated on a slope in Bukit Petaling overlooking the Klang River, along Jalan Syed Putra. Its grounds are not open to the public, so the Main Palace Entrance is usually the spot where tourists take pictures. Also called The Big House, it was originally a double-storey mansion owned by local Chinese millionaire Chan Wing. Read More...
- Location: Jalan Istana, Kuala Lumpur
The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is an interesting tourist information centre with a collection of paintings and photos of KL’s history, plus miniature mock ups of famous city landmarks. Set in a 114-year old, colonial-style building just beside Dataran Merdeka, this free museum is great if you want to find out a little bit more about KL’s history. The wall with a timeline chronicling KL’s history is especially attention-grabbing: it chronicles KL’s origins in the 1850s, to the present: the photos of the official groundbreaking of the Petronas Twin Towers are especially interesting. If you are a local, you can’t help but feel pride; as a foreigner, you are bound to be awed by Malaysia’s milestones. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00
- Address: 27, Jalan Raja, Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2698 3333
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is an almost fairytale Moorish-style building to the southeast of the National Mosque. Located along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin (previously known as Victory Avenue), it used to be KL’s main railway hub until 2001 when Kuala Lumpur Sentral took over much of its role. Adopting a mixture of Eastern and Western styles, it was designed by A.B. Hubbock in 1910. Opposite stands the Malaya Railway Administration Building, also designed by Hubbock in 1917. Beneath the Islamic exterior, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station resembles a typical glass and iron Victorian-era English railway building. Read More...
- Address: Bangunan Stesen Keretapi, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Along with the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL Tower is easily Malaysia’s most recognizable and popular landmark. Constructed in 1994, the tower stands at 421 metres and effortlessly trumps the Petronas Twin Towers with the highest and most spectacular view of the city. This gleaming tower’s spindle-like apex is visible from almost anywhere in Kuala Lumpur. Menara KL’s viewing deck is, at 276 metres, at least 100 metres higher than the Petronas Twin Towers’ Skybridge; the view is marvellous during the day and even better at night when you can see the entire sparkling city centre. Read More...
- Opening Hours:
09:00 – 22:00 weekday;
09:30 – 22:00 weekend & public holidays
- Address: Jalan Punchak, Off Jalan P. Ramlee
- Tel: + 603 208 5448
Merdeka Square is undoubtedly KL’s best known landmark. Also called Dataran Merdeka, it is set in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (the former State Secretariat). Directly in front is the Royal Selangor Club and to the north is St. Mary’s Church, one of Malaysia’s oldest Anglican churches. Within the colonial core of Kuala Lumpur, where the remnants of the British empire are especially evident, Merdeka Square seems to be nothing more than a giant field with perfectly manicured green lawns and a centrepiece of the tallest flagpole in the world (95m) proudly displaying the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag). At the corner of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Raja Laut, Merdeka Square is made up of a padang (field) that was once the Selangor Club cricket pitch. Read More...
The National Monument is located 50m along Jalan Tamingsabi, at the northern end of the Lake Gardens on Jalan Parlimen. The 15m-high bronze statue is dedicated to the 11,000 people who died during the First World War, the struggle against the Japanese and the Malayan Emergency. Providing excellent views of Parliament House, it was built in 1966 and features the inscription ‘To Our Glorious Dead of the First World War (1914-1918), Second World War (1939-1945) and the Emergency (1948-1960).’ The world's tallest freestanding bronze sculpture grouping, the monument of seven soldiers standing and supporting their fallen comrades was designed by Felix de Weldon, the same noteworthy designer who worked on the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington DC. Each figure denotes one of seven qualities: courage, leadership, sacrifice, strength, suffering, unity and vigilance. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 – 18:00
- Location: Jalan Tamingsabi
- Address: Jalan Parlimen, Kuala Lumpur 50480 Malaysia
- Tel: +603-2615-8188
The National Science Centre is a crowd puller with its vivacious, educational and just-plain-fun, hands on science and technology exhibits. Shaped like a futuristic, green mosque topped off with a large dome, it is divided into several sections, with exhibits covering the gamut of scientific knowledge. Also known as the Pusat Sains Negara, Malaysia's first overhead freshwater aquarium, filled with 32 species of local freshwater fish, greets you as you make your way to the main exhibits. Established in 1996, the best part of the National Science Centre is undoubtedly the hall where you can watch a science show beamed straight into the interior of the main dome. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (closed on Friday)
- Location: Pesiaran Bukit Kiara, Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2089 3400
National Visual Arts Gallery is flanked by the National Theatre and the National Library. A tranquil complex also known as the Balai Seni Visual Negara, it showcases a permanent collection of over 2,500 local and foreign works of art (including photography) by celebrated contemporary artists. Locals refer to it simply as the National Art Gallery. The RM40 million complex is spread out over three floors and has seven galleries plus outdoor exhibition areas and a café. Established by the Majlis Kesenian Persekututan (Malay Arts Council) in 1958, it is the country’s official venue for art workshops and exhibitions and even organises art classes for kids. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00
- Address: 2, Jalan Temerloh, Off Jalan Tun Razak, 53200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- Tel: +603 4025 4990
The Malaysian Houses of Parliament is a modern complex on the west fringe of the Lake Gardens right beside the National Monument. Commonly known as Parliament House and House of Representatives, the complex is comprised of two parts: a three-storey main building and a 17-storey Toblerone-shaped tower. Built in 1959, the main whitewashed building, with a curved roof and protruding windows, houses the House of Representatives and the Senate, while the representatives' offices are located in the high-rise tower. This is where Malaysia's Senate and Parliamentary Committee sits. The complex is about 300m down Jalan Parlimen from the Lake Garden’s main entrance and commands excellent views of the gardens. Read More...
- Location: Head of Administration, Parliament Malaysia, Jalan Parlimen
- Tel: +603-2072 1955
PETRONAS Twin Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world. Now the world’s tallest twin structures, the 88-storey buildings were designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates with both towers joined at the 41st and 42nd floors (175m above street level) by a 58 metre-long, double-decker Sky Bridge. Standing 452 metres tall, the PETRONAS Twin Towers retained its world-title claim to fame until 2004 when Taipei's 101 was built, measuring 508 metres tall. Today, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (opened in 2010) retains the spot as the world’s tallest building. Located in the KL city centre, the PETRONAS Twin Towers’ architecture is Islamic-inspired and the buildings primarily house the corporate headquarters of the PETRONAS Company and other offices. Read More...
- How to get there: You can take the LRT and stop at the KLCC station.
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is among Kuala Lumpur’s earliest Moorish-style buildings. It is set to the east of Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) and the Royal Selangor Club, across from Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin. It was built in 1897 and was named after the reigning sultan of Selangor at the time. The distinguished landmark originally served as the secretariat for the colonial British administration. Designed by AC Norman, the architect responsible for Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque), the historically-significant building used to house the superior courts of Malaysia: the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Court of Appeals and the High Court of Malaya, before they moved to Putrajaya. Read More...
- Location: Jalan Tun Perak (across from Dataran Merdeka on Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin)
- How to get there: Take the LRT and alight at Masjid Jamek station. This building is 10 minutes walk from the station. You will not miss it because there are many good signages to guide you to this place.
The Skybridge of PETRONAS Twin Towers
Open to public visits since May 2000. Admission is free, although visitors have to queue up for tickets.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 09:00 – 19:00, Except Monday
- Location: Concourse Level (Lower Ground Floor), PETRONAS Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur City Centre.